25 Mar 2019
Ref No.: 250319 (1)
Dear Valued ASPRI Members,
New Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health Appointed
Mr Silas Sng, Deputy Divisional Director of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHD), will succeed Er Ho Siong Hin as the new Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) and Divisional Director of OSHD with effect from 1 April 2019.
Mr Sng was appointed Deputy Divisional Director, OSHD in February 2018. He joined the Ministry in 1997 as an inspector and had over the years assumed various roles within OSHD including Director, OSH Inspectorate and Director, Work Injury Compensation Department. Mr Sng was also instrumental in enactment of the Workplace Safety and Health Act back in 2006. Since his appointment as Deputy Divisional Director in 2018, he has been leading the efforts in developing the new set of national WSH strategies (WSH2028) to help improve Singapore’s WSH performance.
Er Ho Siong Hin will be appointed Senior Director (International WSH), MOM, with effect from the same date. In his new role, Er Ho will step up the ministry’s efforts to build global presence and networks to establish and sustain Singapore’s international standing in WSH. This will involve collaborations with global organisations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI) and national institutes.
Er Ho has helmed OSHD since 2005. He took over at a time of major reform of the WSH system, following a spate of three major workplace accidents, including the 2004 Nicoll Highway accident. Under his leadership, Er Ho guided the team to conceptualise and embed the new WSH Framework which helped to shift companies’ focus from compliance with prescriptive rules on WSH to eliminating and reducing risks created. He was instrumental in the design and implementation of the national WSH strategies developed in 2005 (WSH2015) and 2008 (WSH2018), which have helped to reduce Singapore’s workplace fatal injury rate from 4.9 per 100,000 workers in 2004 to 1.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2018.
Beyond improving WSH standards, Er Ho played a pivotal role in helping OSHD to become more business-friendly. In particular, the WSH Council was set up in 2008 to engage companies to improve WSH outcomes, and its flagship WSH programme, bizSAFE, was developed to provide companies with a framework to systemically develop their WSH capabilities and boost their business competitiveness.
Er Ho has also helped OSHD to make its mark internationally by organising the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2017 in Singapore, which was attended by delegates from over 100 countries across six continents